Education Letter to the Editor

Children Are Affected Most by Teacher Strikes

September 19, 2006 1 min read

To the Editor:

Regarding “Labor Unrest Shuts Schools in Midwest” (Sept. 6, 2006):

Whenever my children’s baby sitters or private caregivers asked me for a raise, I either gave it to them or fired them. I did not want them to have any ill feelings about their job while taking care of my kids.

The same holds true with teachers’ demands and how these affect the children under their care. We all say that such concerns should have no impact on teachers’ and students’ performance, but we are not dealing with people moving stones. A stone does not care one wit about the feelings of the person who is moving it. Children, on the other hand, can hear the quarrels and put-downs that politicians and the media foment, and can sense changes in their teachers’ attitudes.

Teachers, in turn, find themselves paying more for their medical care, or taking a pay freeze despite their college degrees and what they’ve always been told about how important the job they chose is.

If we don’t think that there is a major effect on how children learn and teachers teach when unions and district leaders disagree, we are out of our minds.

Elliot Kotler

Ossining, N.Y.